On the Fairway » Know Thy Distances



It is important to make the yardage-to-club connection with each club, especially with water in play.

For example, if you hit your 8 iron 100 yards and it is 100 yards to clear the water, then go with the 7 iron!

The problem I see with players is that they have no idea how far they hit each club. My suggestion is to simply pay attention and learn as you play. Grab your device that measures yardage and clock your shots while playing a round. Write these numbers down, and you’ll begin to see a a pattern emerge with your clubs. Oh…I see I typically hit my 7 iron 115-120. Cool.

Here’s the deal with the yardage-to-club connection for newer players: I get that as a new golfer knowing this may not be in the bag yet, and heck, you’re learning the game, so how would you know?

Here’s the deal with the yardage-to-club connection for experienced players: An experienced player who is just having one of those days tend to over-club by 2 clubs or more. You are better off trusting the yardage and selecting the right club based on that yardage.

icon_KeyPointNow remember, be smart. Know how far you CARRY the ball IN THE AIR. Why is this important? If a shot requires 80 yards over the water, then you should be confident that your 7 iron will do the job. Grabbing your 5 iron or hybrid because you know it will clear the water is not a smart play. You’ll wind up in that back bunker…another double or triple to the score card…not smart…so be smart. Select the right club!

In this lesson, I am playing a pretty straight-forward Par 3. I have 134 to the pin. Let’s see which club I select and why!


Here’s the deal with overclubbing!

For many players, this hole is intimidating. The tendency is to immediately zone in on the trouble in front of the green. And with that fear, you are faced with selecting the safe club to ensure you do not enter that trouble area. Unfortunately, overclubbing by grabbing your driver is not a wise choice. Your focus is already on the trouble. So no matter what club you chose, you’ll most likely end in the trouble.

A better approach is to narrow your focus on the target and play the number. What is your 134 club? Keep in mind that you’ll need to carry the ball 120 yards to clear the trouble; so select the right club. By focusing on the target, the double becomes a non-event and will give you the best chance for par without the fear factor.